By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Mainstream pop culture historians always deify the 1960’s as some kind of Woodstock utopian fantasy gone to seed. But any true countercultural history buff knows that the Seventies were where it was really at. After Charlie Manson scared off the flower children, things got truly radical. The left got the message and stopped playing nice.
The Students for a Democratic Society became the Weather Underground and the Black Panther Party gave way to the Black Liberation Army. A pervasive revolutionary culture permeated the zeitgeist and, for a few heady moments, an entire generation embraced a common goal of overthrowing “The Man.”
The wild heart of this movement wasn’t in Washington or Moscow or even San Francisco. The tribal heartbeat came straight from the belly of the imperial beast in the Third World. White kids burned dollar bills beneath Vietcong flags as Victor Charlie offered to send choppers to Attica. Japanese punks jacked jetliners for Palestine and received a heroes welcome in the streets of Bethlehem when the PFLP added their release from Israeli custody to their list of demands. Algiers became the new San Francisco as Eldridge Cleaver turned skyjacking into a cottage industry and weird sugar daddies like Fidel Castro and Muamar Gaddafi spread the love to the darkest corners of the earth.
One of these dark corners was Western Sahara, the last African colony. And this tiny piece of desert’s renegade Polisario Front comes from this era of revolutionary opportunity. Unlike many of their brethren, the Polisario Front neither burned out nor faded away. They simply kept up the good fight and built a nation out of sand and grit. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, founded in 1976, has kept up the good fight for the Sahrawi people and even earned the recognition of 84 UN member states, all while defending their very right of existence from an ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing from their northern neighbors in the Kingdom of Morocco. All this hard work, blood, sweat and tears has recently been thrown into question however by a far less legitimate regime in Washington.
Under Donald Trump’s jihad for Israeli recognition in the Muslim world, the United Sates has openly violated the Geneva Convention by recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over Sahrawi in return for the Kingdom’s official recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Palestine. In a very twisted sense this seems like a fair trade. A Nakba for a Nakba. In many ways Morocco’s vicious campaign in Western Sahara mirrors Israel’s own genocidal agenda in Gaza and the West Bank. As the stagnant fascist fiefdom of Francoist Spain lost control of their last colony, Morocco and their allies in Mauritania embraced the opportunity by launching what became known as the Green March in the mid Seventies.